China Exploring Venus

Later this year, a box-sized module will be carried into orbit by a rocket. This will be the first step towards a Chinese space station. Around 2013, China is in works of launching a lunar probe that will release a rover on the moon. Also, the country is striving to put a man on the moon somewhere around 2020. Some experts are worried about the fact that China is slowly starting to get ahead of the U.S. They want to preserve the country’s reputation of having a prestigious space science program. Although China is still a few big steps behind the U.S. in space technology and experience, what China does not lack is the knowledge of how to get financial resources. The U.S. is already in debt for so many other things that the budget is highly strained for space programs, unlike China. China is at advantage because of their 5 year plans that allows them to think ahead and plan accordingly. Back in 2003, China became the third country, following the U.S. and Russia, to send an astronaut into space on its own. Three years later, China sent its first probe to the moon. In 2008, China had its first spacewalk. China’s space station is supposed to open in 2020, which is the same year that the International Space Station is scheduled for closing. Therefore, the U.S. and its partners must come up with a replacement, or else China will have the only human presence in the sky. China’s space lab module, which is supposed to be launched later this year, will test docking procedures for the space station. China’s space station will be much smaller than the International one that is shared by U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan and 11 European countries. Furthermore, China’s space advancements are greatly significant for the people of China. They see this as a national pride. Some aspects of China’s program, especially some dangerous incidents that have happened in the past, are alarming American officials and others who fear that certain moves could set off a race to militarize space. The U.S. is hesitant to cooperate with China in matters of space because the program is run by the military. China, however, insists that the program is peaceful. The country argues that this new space endeavor is not for military purposes; rather, it is for advancing in space technology and new discoveries.

In addition to China, Russia has been in discussion about a possible mission to Mars and building a base on the moon. A time frame, however, has not been set yet. India also has plans for its first manned space flight to occur in 2016. The U.S. has a “been there, done that” attitude regarding landing on the moon. They have other plans lined up for the future. Furthermore, China’s future in regards to space will be exciting to watch. They plan to send a man on the moon and a lunar probe by 2025 at the latest.

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